The title character Wendy is on her way to Alaska with her dog Lucy in the hope of finding work there, when her car breaks down in the small town in Oregon. She's broke and steals dog food for Lucy during the delay. Then it goes wrong: Wendy is arrested and when she is released later that day, Lucy has disappeared. In her attempts to find her dog, Wendy has to depend on the helpfulness of strangers. The quest for Lucy ends with a phone call, which is when Wendy's journey begins.
In a calm tempo, well-suited to the idea of a break, Wendy and Lucy grows from a simple fact into a complex meditation about American insecurity and loneliness. The film without music is, just like Old Joy, based on a short story by Jon Raymond and was shot around Portland. Todd Haynes and Wil Oldham also contributed again.